Tips for Preparing the Seller for the Inspections

The key to a good appraisal is using accurate comparable sales and other important data to arrive at an appropriate price for the property in question. If you are selling your home, here are some tips that will improve the odds that the final appraised value is not left up to chance.

Tips for Preparing Sellers for the Appraisal!

As appraisals are one of the major hurdles for sellers, buyers and lenders these days on a transaction, here are some tips that you can share with your sellers that will help move the appraisal process along smoothly, and will ensure the appraiser has all the available info needed to complete an appraisal report that is NOT left up to chance.

1. Compile a list of recent improvements.

If possible, include before and after pictures, and copies of paid receipts for the work completed. If major updates were done, provide a detailed copy of the contractor’s bid.

2. Make sure all areas are accessible

This includes the attic, basement and crawl spaces and the garage.

3. Provide HOA information

If the home is part of a homeowner’s association, include a copy of the fees paid and name and phone number of the association president or association administrator.

4. If the appraisal is for an FHA loan

The area leading to the attic will have to be cleared and made accessible-the appraiser is required to make at least a head and shoulders inspection of the attic area.

5. Install carbon monoxide detectors

This is now CA law (see below) that carbon monoxide detectors are installed on each level on a home. If these are not installed when an appraiser shows up to do the appraisal, the lender will ask that these are installed in the home and will ask the appraiser to go back out to the home again to take a picture to verify they were installed. This can cost up to $175 for a re-inspection, so installing these before the appraiser shows up will save everyone money.

6. Straighten up each room

Appraisers are required to photograph each room, and while it may not make a difference to them if the room is messy, there is an underwriter who may be less objective.

7. Finish up any projects

If there are any unfinished projects, make sure the seller completes them before the appraiser’s inspection.

8. Easements

If there are any easements, encroachments or any unusual covenants associated with the title, provide a copy to the appraiser.

9. Provide for Sale by Owner information

If the seller knows of any recent “For Sale by Owner” sales in the surrounding neighborhood that will help support the value, ask them if they are able to get additional information from the home buyers living there now.

Doing the homework upfront on transactions is key

It is very important these days that the necessary home work is done upfront on transactions before the appraiser comes to the home to do their inspection. Remember, as appraisers now work for the lenders and have no relationship with any parties on the transaction anymore, unfortunately there will be appraisers who do not care what the final value is, as they get paid regardless of the quality of their work! Therefore it is important to do what we can to improve the odds that the final appraised value is not left up to chance.